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TV in the Bedroom?

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When I moved to my new house and began making arrangements for the utilities, I faced the inevitable question: should I have a TV in the bedroom?

In my previous homes, I always had a television in the bedroom. When I got into bed at night, the first thing I did was turn on the TV to provide background noise while I read and then fell asleep. When I woke up in the morning, the first thing I did was turn on the TV to watch the morning news while I slowly woke up.

In my last home (my first home in Evergreen), the Swedish Farmhouse, I found myself having a difficult time falling asleep at night, and often I would wake up through the night at 1a.m, 3a.m., 5a.m. I didn't know what to do with myself through these sleepless nights, so I turned on the TV and relied on it to lull me back to sleep. More often than not, it worked, but I was concerned that I wasn't getting a restful sleep with the white noise of news chatter in the background. In fact, I was miserable and exhausted from the lack of sleep.

When the friendly guys from DirectTV arrived at my current home to install the satellite boxes in rooms with TVs, I asked them to skip my bedroom. They actually looked surprised, and just for safety's sake, they installed an outlet in the room, in case I changed my mind.

But I decided to conduct my own little sleep experiment. I knew I wasn't sleeping well with the background music of TV lulling me to sleep throughout the night. How would I fare without a TV in my room? How would I deal with the dark silence after I turned off the lights? Would I ever get a full night's sleep again?

As it's turned out, I've done quite well. I actually go to bed earlier than in the past and I look forward to it. Why? Because this has now become one of my daily reading times. Instead of getting into bed and turning on the TV, I now get into bed and pick up a book and start reading. I read until I get sleepy, then turn off the light, and more often then not, I'm sound asleep in minutes. Yes, I do still wake up through the night....but it seems less often, and less pronounced now. I also find myself waking earlier and feeling more refreshed in the morning.

When I was looking for images for this article, I googled 'tv in the bedroom' and found that I'm not the only one who has studied this phenomena. A 2006 study in Italy found that couples who have a TV in the bedroom have less sex, another study in 2008 found that children with TVs in their rooms are less social, especially with other members of the family! I think I'm on to something!

It's your turn, now.....TV in the bedroom, yes or no?

And what do you do before bed to assure a restful night's sleep? (besides THAT...).


Anonymous said…
No TV for us. We only use our bedroom for a couple of things and TV is not one of them. ;)

I like to read in bed before going to sleep, but I don't sleep much. Five hours tops.
larramiefg said…
I have a TV in my bedroom but never watch it while 'm in bed. Instead I read as you do, close the book, turn off the light and fall asleep quickly.
Anonymous said…
No TV in the bedroom. And no TV anywhere else in the house either. People think I'm weird. Don't miss it, except for the odd documentary when I ask someone to record it for me. I find TV wastes in inordinate amount of time...even if it's just 'goof off' time.
Anonymous said…
No tv at all. I find I can watch anything I'd like to see on my laptop--and then close it and put it away! :-)

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